Hello Readers! Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Golden Hour fourth in Lady Evelyn Mystery by Malia Zaidi, organized by damppebbles blog tours. Many thanks to Emma for tour invite and author for providing not just this but all previous books in series, in exchange for an honest review. Check out the book detail and my review in this post.
Book Details :
The Golden Hour (Lady Evelyn Mystery #4) by Malia Zaidi
Publication Date : March 26th 2019
Publisher : BookBaby
Read Date : April 17th 2019
Genre : Cozy Mystery / Historical Fiction
Pages : 398
Stars : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5
Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil. To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch. Adding to the tension in the house a neighbour has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder? A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park’s May Day celebration awakens Evelyn’s sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family. What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own.
With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again.
The Golden Hour was fourth cozy historical fiction in Lady Evelyn Mystery that was set in Scotland where Evelyn solve not just one but two murder mysteries. It was about jealousy, unrequited love, obsession, tragedy, dysfunctional family, betrayal, grief and trauma of child loss, struggle of veterans and finding a hope to live and love again.
Initial chapter narrated briefly on how Evelyn and loved ones faring in life- Briony’s baby and notorious kids, shocking change in aunt Agnes influenced by her new beau- Harold, Daniel’s sweet supporting nature. It was wonderful to meet them all together celebrating Evelyn’s graduation. But it ended with confusing and worrying phone call from her Scottish cousin and thus start the adventure in Scotland accompanied by Aunt Agnes.
Evelyn’s extended family was odd, distant from Evelyn and her aunt Agnes. There was huge rift among the members of the family. Every person had some issues. Iris’s children couldn’t cope with their own grieving mother. Teddy seemed okay but there was something he was hiding. Gemma was selfish and wrapped in her own cozy dreamy cocoon of bride-to-be. Lucy was not happy with Evelyn’s arrival and I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly they were afraid of by Iris’s involvement in Elderbrooke Park project. But Iris was ignorant and wrapped into her own dream project. In grieving her eldest son, she forgot to care for her other children. Martin looked only sane in that family. Even Tally and his aide were evasive about it. Whole affair looked controversial and weird even though the project was Nobel and Iris looked content and happy. And then suddenly, as usual, Evelyn stumbled upon murder. She needs to stop this you know. It felt more than coincidental finding dead body wherever she went. (She needs some religious practice to ward off the voodoo or some black magic, so that she could stop finding dead bodies wherever she went). Jokes apart, this time it seemed even harder to find culprit.
The setting was beautiful and loved thought-provoking plot and graceful writing. Again Evelyn’s voice gave life to the picturesque village setting, halls of Malmo Manor, gardens of Elderbrooke Park, valleys and mountains. Her monologues made me stop again and again to ponder over the situations, history and the mystery.
What I loved most was, history which was around recession, growth of manufacturing and machinery and decrease in human requirement, Societies’ criticism for veterans, their struggle for getting job. Evelyn’s philosophical musing over humanity, physical and psychological effects of war, contrast of city and village life, small community and their reservations, and on character’s nature were insightful.
Idea of Elderbrooke Park was remarkable but I could see the concerns of all characters except Iris. But mostly it was Nobel and I appreciated Iris’s wish and devotion to it which was in her best interest. I also agreed with Evelyn’s thought on it.
Another remarkable thing was Evelyn’s bond with her loved ones. And loved big and small development in all characters. Agnes and Evelyn’s relation improved to a great deal in this book, even after the discovery of the secret she and Iris were keeping. I enjoyed seeing different side of Agnes, enthusiastic, inquisitive, caring and supportive, a true aunt of amateur detective. Not just this but Evelyn’s bond with her cousins and Daniel also strengthened. Lucy became her second best friend whom she could confide to. Teddy developed and understood the need to move on. tragedy brought Iris’s family together once again. Oh, and finally Evelyn got some sense and started to think about Daniel and marriage seriously.
Back to mystery– Many secrets came to light at Malmo Manor- Secret of Evelyn’s family, what happened to Josslyn 6 years ago and why she was killed, Teddy’s secret, question of connection between Josslyn and Tilly’s murder, how Moore, Lester and Blckwood were linked to all the mysteries. Who have thought a little Folkland village will be filled with rumors, gossips, secrets and crimes!
This time, Evelyn was not alone in solving the mystery. There were helping hands and each comping up with juicy and exciting information that helped to gather the pieces of puzzle and drew a clear picture at the end. It was sad to see lively cheerful characters fall to tragedy, experience betrayal and succumb to crime and death.
So many characters, so many suspects, so many questions and questionable motive. Nothing was revealed until last 20% of the book. I must say twist and turn were better than previous installments. And when tangle of the mysteries were unraveled, it didn’t fail to surprise me. It took so long to solve the mystery and so many things happened in the book that when I reached the end I forgot what the prologue was! I know slow books does that but when I read it again it was really impressive. This was slow paced mystery. I’m not fan of slow books but it was so interesting that I’m ready ignore this minor setback.
Loved the end and epilogue. I wonder where Evelyn will go next and whose dead body she will stumble upon. Can’t wait to read many more adventure of Evelyn!
Overall, it was slow but compelling cozy mystery with history, philosophy and juicy gossips and family drama.
About Malia Zaidi:
Malia Zaidi is the author of the Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.
Purchase links for the first three books:
Previous Books in Series:
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